Today, we are reviewing the Crucial X8, which is Crucial's first portable SSD. Portable storage is growing into an important segment for consumer SSD storage as people are moving ever increasing volumes of data around. While mechanical HDDs have offered terabyte-sized capacities for years, these drives are simply too slow for an enjoyable user experience due to their slow transfer rates—copying 1 TB of data at 100 MB/s takes 3 hours!
Enter the Crucial X8. Thanks to its lightning-fast speeds of up to 1 GB/s, it reduces transfer times dramatically, and the move to flash storage instead of a mechanical drive greatly benefits seek times, which ensures you can use the X8 to install applications and games, which opens up an easily accessible storage upgrade path for less experienced users, notebooks, and game consoles.
Under the hood, the Crucial X8 is built around a USB-to-PCIe bridge from ASMedia, which supports the 10 Gbps USB interface and translates between USB and NVMe protocols. The actual storage is provided by a Crucial P1 M.2 SSD, which uses QLC flash from Micron, paired with a Silicon Motion SM2263 controller we've seen in many other SSD reviews before. Even though it's probably not strictly necessary for this market segment, Crucial did include 1 GB of DRAM storage for the SSD's mapping tables, which considerably speeds up random write performance.
The Crucial X8 comes in capacities of 1 TB and 500 GB. This review covers the Crucial X8 1 TB priced at $130.